Had Enough Government Yet?

One of the most popular features on my radio program is entitled "Had Enough Government Yet?"

Driven by daily media stories of nanny state, busy-body politics at the local, state, and federal level, the feature invites listeners to contribute their own stories and contemplate how far we’ve come in this country from the Jeffersonian ideal of "He, who governs least, governs best".

For example, New York Mayor Michael Blumberg wants to regulate the amount of salt that chefs can put into restaurant food. Congress prepares legislation that would have the federal government define what "food" is, license it, and regulate and inspect every "food" source, including your back yard garden and the local farmers’ market.

Another example: An agency of the federal government, mirrored in many state governments, decries childhood obesity (using standards that make Arnold Schwarzenegger in his "Terminator" days overweight) and proposes to regulate the fat content of all "food." At the same time, another set of federal and state agencies cuts physical education classes in high school and feeds junk food to the students at our expense. And then are surprised by an "epidemic" of fat kids.

The BP Deepwater Horizon, the most federally regulated offshore oil drilling rig ever, blows out one mile below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico in the worst oil spill disaster ever. In the spirit of using every crisis to advance the liberal agenda, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar proposes to abolish the single agency in charge of regulating and inspecting offshore rigs, and replacing it with three new federal agencies.

In fairness, Salazar had to do something drastic when it was discovered that the agency whose oversight failed to prevent the blowout was peppered with employees who spent their time doing drugs, taking bribes from the oil industry, and surfing the web for porn. The agency was known as the Minerals Management Service. Now comes the latest on the MMS, or as I call it, the Meth and Mammaries Service.

Salazar had the standard liberal answer to the failure of any regulatory government agency: create more agencies with more union dues paying, porn-surfing, and drug-taking employees than ever. That’ll solve the problem.

Speaking of porn surfing, whatever happened to the Security and Exchange Commission employees who were also caught porn surfing on taxpayer time with government computers during the financial meltdown of 2008-2009? Nothing happened. Some retired on full pension. Some were transferred. Most stayed on the job without reprimand.

Government authority to prevent the financial meltdown was there, the will and determination to do it were not. The answer from Sen. Chris Dodd: leave the SEC in place, but create new regulatory and "consumer protection" agencies with new armies of federal employees—all in the name of "reform".

Sometimes state government action points up the failure of the massive federal government to accomplish even its core missions.  Take the case of Arizona, now boycotted by the entire world Left for daring to enforce with state law prohibitions the un-enforced Federal law against illegal immigration.

Sometimes, federal government incompetence shines through to the average American directly and personally.

According to David Lazarus, writing in the Los Angeles Times, this happened to one David Lipin of Los Angeles.

Lipin went to cash a $1,000 U.S. Postal Money Order at a Post Office. The postal worker behind the counter counted out ten $20 dollar bills and eight $100 dollar bills. Lipin stopped at a gas station on the way home and tried to pay for the gas with one of the $100 bills.

The gas station attendant identified the Franklin as an Abe—the $100 bill was a fake; a $5.00 bill bleached and overprinted. The attendant called the police. So did Lipin. The police said call the sheriff. The sheriff said call the Secret Service. The Secret Service said the last one holding the counterfeit bill was the victim. The Secret Service Agent’s exact words to Lipin? "You’re hosed".

The Postal Service denied Lipin any relief, a spokesperson patiently explaining that postal workers are not trained to spot counterfeit money.

What? The federal government sells the "money order" for real money; then redeems it with counterfeit bills that even the gas station attendant could spot without training and Lipin is "hosed"? Had a private company done this, "Consumer Protection" agencies at all levels of government would have had the businessman’s head on a pike. Government cheats the guy and he’s just "hosed"?

I could spend all three hours of every show with hundreds of examples of government intrusion, incompetence, fraud, and corruption.

The bottom line with every example boils down to this. Entrusting a viable banking system, or safer oil drilling, much less your healthcare, to government is taking a bigger risk at a higher cost than anyone realizes.